Creative Arts & Writing Contest

Sponsored by: PTA Reflections, 40 Years of Achievement in the Arts

2017-2018 Theme: “Within Reach”


Turn in entries to the front office.
Click here for Student Packet including complete rules and entry form.

Last year, a Clemens Crossing student advanced to the State Level, and

two Howard County students won prizes at the National Level!

This year, it could be you.

Reflections is a National PTA program to encourage all children to participate in the arts for fun and recognition. Students work independently to present their artistic interpretation of this year’s theme. Works can be literature including prose, poetry, drama, reflective essay, narrative, short story; visual art such as drawing, painting, collage;  and musical composition. There is also a Special Artist Division for students with disabilities who receive services under IDEA or Section 504.

Reflect on the theme above & create an original work in one (or more!) of the following categories:



Visual Arts

Winners in each category in three divisions:

Primary (K-2nd grade)

Intermediate (3rd-5th grade)

Special Artist (for students with challenges as covered in the ADA)


Students may publish their Reflections Literature Entries in the Paw Print Press!                         

If students wish to create a piece of writing based on the theme “Within Reach”, they can then illustrate it for their Paw Print Press book this year!


Turn in entries to the front office.
Click here for Student Packet including complete rules and entry form.

ALL entries will be displayed and celebrated at the Enrichment Fair!

Entries will be reviewed by experienced arts and education judges. All participants will be celebrated with certificates of participation, the top three entries will receive ribbons and the first place entry will receive a medal. The top three entries in each category will move on to the Howard County Reflections Contest, the top three county entries will move on to the Maryland State Reflections Contest, and state winners in each category will compete in the National PTA Reflections Contest.


Contact Risa Carlson, Reflections Chair



For all categories, remember to fill out the entry form and the Artist Statement , explaining how your artwork relates to the theme. This statement is 50% of the judge’s score, so make sure that you write a thoughtful statement!


  • All forms of original fiction and nonfiction writing are welcome, including prose, poetry, drama, reflective essay, narrative, short story, etc.
  • Must be 1,000 words or less, handwritten or typed, one-sided on 8½ x 11” paper.
  • Original and two copies must be submitted in manilla folder with entry form stapled to the back.
  • Label the back of all pages of paper with title.category.division.region.local pta (example: “Within Reach”.Literature.Intermediate.Maryland.Clemens Crossing PTA)



  • Student must write an original musical piece.
  • Student can perform the composition but does not have to. Can have other performers.
  • Notation and score is not required for elementary students.
  • No music videos, please!
  • Accepted formats: MP3, MP4, WMA, WAV, ACC (M4A) AND FLAC.
  • Submit and label disc and envelope with title.category.division.region.local pta (example: “Within Reach”.Music Composition.Intermediate.Maryland.Clemens Crossing PTA)



  • Original 2D (drawing, painting, collage, etc.) and/or 3D (architecture, carpentry, ceramics, crafts, jewelry, mobiles, sculptures, etc.) accepted!
  • 2D must be mounted on something sturdy, 12”x15” or smaller, including matting. No frames or loose materials.
  • 3D 12”x12”x12” or smaller, including packaging. Include 3 photos of work.
  • Physical 3D work will only be judged at the local level. Advancing entries will be judged by the 3 photos submitted. Please submit the highest quality photos possible!
  • Label (back of 2D or box of 3D) artwork with title.category.division.region.local pta (example: “Within Reach”.Visual Arts.Intermediate.Maryland.Clemens Crossing PTA)
  • No disc or envelope is necessary but please tape entry form to back of 2D artwork or 3D box.



  • Students who receive services under IDEA, ADA or section 504 are eligible.
  • Option to submit artwork under grade division aligned to their functional abilities, or submit under “Special Artist” category with no age separation.
  • Accommodations can be made only according to disability (ex. assistance with typing), but must reflect the sole creativity in idea and execution of the artist.